Amnesty International defends civil society in Belarus

The report What is not permitted is prohibited: Silencing civil society in Belarus was published by Amnesty International on April 18.

The Belarusian authorities limit the freedom of peaceful assembly and of association and violate these rights, the authors say. They prevent citizens from expressing their opinion, organizing manifestations and creating NGOs.

No political parties have been registered in Belarus since 2000 because the registration terms are excessive and independent trade unions are facing discrimination on behalf of enterprise administrations.

Ales Byalyatski’s arrest and the dismissal of Mikashevichy activist Aleh Stahayevich are mentioned in the report. Amnesty International also recalled the dispersal of the Dec.19 meeting in 2010 and “silent protest actions” in 2011.

The Belarusian law on mass actions violates citizens’ right for peaceful protests, human right defenders think. Pavel Vinahradau is an example – he spent 66 days in jail for such actions in 2012.